Thursday, December 31, 2015

Epic Year Ends with 1,313 Carp!

This year, 2015, will go down in my logbook as an epic year, one that I don't think I will ever surpass as far as numbers of fish. The total number of carp that I landed this year ended up being 1.313 fish.  It blew away my previous best year, 2014, in which I landed 750 carp. Along the way, I surpassed many of my previous personal records.  Here is a brief summary of the highlights:

My biggest mirror of the year was this 29 lb. 2 oz. hog.
Most carp in a year- 1,313 carp
Most mirrors in a year- 847 mirrors
Best month ever- December, 2015- 292 carp
Best day ever- December 8, 2015- 30 carp

In addition, here are a couple of other facts (not records):
Biggest common of the year- 30 lbs., 4 oz. on Aug. 11, 2015
Biggest mirror of the year- 29 lbs., 2 oz. on May 11, 2015

With 2015 in the books, I plan on starting my 2016 season tomorrow on New Year's Day. Who knows what's in store for this year? A long time goal of mine has been to land a 40 lb. carp in RI or a 45 lb. carp in MA. Now, that's shooting for the moon. Hey, you've got to think BIG in this game!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2015 NACA Magazine a Real Gem

My article is about
catching 1000 carp in a
2015 NACA magazine
Once a year CAG members get a mailed glossy copy of the North American Carp Angler (NACA) magazine. Three other times of the year this magazine comes out as a e-edition. This is the official magazine of the Carp Anglers Group.  It is a big perk for members.
This year's 64 page magazine is packed with informative carp fishing articles. As a few examples, there is Jerome Moisand's Discovery Month story, Dean Brookes article on fishing for big carp, an interview with UK legend Ian Russell and my article on catching 1000 carp in a year.  There are also many more informative articles.  In addition, RI CAG anglers (Todd Richer, Tom Perron and myself) are featured prominently in a big photo spread on winners in the fall CAG Big 4.
Membership in CAG offers many perks besides this magazine.  You also get a mailed newsletter four times a year, full access to the Forum, full access to state and national tournaments, participation in state fish-ins, limited discounts and a starter kit for joining.  The price.....$25 dollars a year.  If you like to fish for carp or are just a beginner carp fisherman, it is well worth it. You can join from the Carp Angler Group website

Photos featuring three RI CAGers as winners in the CAG fall Big 4 Tournament

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Eve, 2015

I knew it was warm when I was driving to my spot today and someone passed me in a convertible with the top down.  Yikes, the temperature reached 67 degrees where I was fishing, certainly the warmest Christmas Eve I have ever experienced. If you are a carp fisherman, you know the good times are rolling in this warm weather in recent weeks.
I don't care where you are fishing, the fish are hitting.  I went to a river spot first today and was greeted by fast, flooding water from last night's torrential rain.  Even though I tried for a period of time, my bait and line kept getting clogged with weed and debris.  So, cancel that spot and come up with a plan B in a hurry.  I headed to a pond that I don't normally fish at this time. That did the trick as I banked 8 fish in an hour and half and missed a bunch more (see photo at left of one of the fish). They were all caught on sweet corn on the hair with a small method ball fished ahead of it. The fish were enjoying this warm weather as much as I was!
If you have a chance to get out in the next couple of days, do it.  This fishing is unusually good for late December, a very rare treat at this time of year. You might never see this again.
I want to extend a "Happy Holidays" to all my local readers and carp fishing friends. Enjoy the holidays and I hope you find the time to land another carp or two before 2015 ends..

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Doughballs Scoring Bigger Fish

A fifteen pound mirror sits on the
mat.  Check out the doughball
used to catch the fish. Doughballs
are very effective winter baits
for big carp.
If you agree with the adage that bigger baits catch bigger fish, the winter doughball is for you. I have to agree with this statement after fishing today.  I was in experimentation mode today as I fished one outfit with doughballs and another with sweet corn.  Both caught with about the same consistency but the doughball delivered far larger fish for me today.  Ya, I know that was today and tomorrow could be altogether different.  But, this has happened to me on many occasions in the past.  This is the same thinking that leads many big carp hunters to use boilies over maize in the summertime.
Whether you are fishing for larger fish or any fish, one thing is for certain.  The doughball is a very effective winter bait.  My suggestion...don't leave home without a few and give 'em a try.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Doughballs Get the Job Done

Hair rigged doughballs
were the hot bait today.
This large mirror was one of
many that were landed on
doughballs.  They are an effective
winter bait.
I had a decent session today that did not start off all that well.  I began my day using sweet corn, a real hot bait in the last few weeks.  I had one outfit baited on a light mono rig with the corn right on the hook; the other was hair rigged.  But, the corn was just not working today.  There were a few picks and pecks and I landed one small fish, but that was it.  So, I made the change on one outfit to a hair rigged doughball.  That did it as I landed several good fish (up into the teens) before switching the other outfit to a hair rigged doughball also. Then, the fish were coming on both outfits.
I have to say that doughballs are generally my number two bait for winter fishing. Carp are naturally attracted to dough since they see it a lot in places where people feed ducks.  They also like that soft feel/taste of a doughball once it gets wet.
Novices are often confused about just what doughball is. It is the white part of a slice of bread that is kneaded into a small ball.  I like my winter doughballs to be very small, about the size of a small marble. Once I make them, I usually set them out in the sun or on the kitchen counter to harden. I'll make a couple of dozen of them for a short session.  My opinion is that they are just as good or better than an expensive boilie. Their one drawback is that pests will pick them to death in warm water, but in winter there are no pests to be found. I always hair rig by doughballs.
So, today's session proves there is no silver bullet when it comes to bait.  Yes, sweet corn is hot stuff in the winter, but at times it doesn't work. That's carp fishing and something you learn as you gain experience.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

An Unusual Double

It looks like a common
but has no barbels.
It is a wild hybrid
Today's unusual double amounted to a goldfish (top) and
a common (bottom),
If you are an experienced carper, you know about the "Double".  This is when both alarms sound at once, followed by chaos as the fisherman tries to reel ashore and battle two fish at the same time.  I've had some crazy doubles in the past.  There was the usual two mirrors or two commons.  Several times I have landed a common and a mirror.  And, one incredible double turned out to be two thirty pound carp.  But, today, I added another strange combination to my history of doubles.  I landed one giant hybrid goldfish along with one common. The goldfish went about 5-6 lbs., a rare large size for a goldfish while the common went about 8 lbs. Just another one for my "Doubles" memories.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Warm Weather Leading to Hot Fishing; Number 1200 Landed Today!

Fish number 1200 on the year turns out to be a gorgeous
low teen mirror.  It was caught on sweet corn on the hair rig.
The weather is warm and the fishing is hot. I've been to multiple spots in the last several days and ALL the places I fished produced. I think you could fish anywhere there are carp right now and you could catch.
Today was yet another great day in which I landed big numbers of fish.  I also got my 1,200 th carp of the year. It was a gorgeous mirror in the low teens.  The fish today were especially active.  I saw numerous fish jumping and a lot of bubble trails. Unlike last week when the fish were sluggish on the take, these fish had the alarms screaming away.  And, they were very perky on the fight, ripping drag off and zipping around like fish of mid spring.  Today was like fishing an early spring day after several days of warm weather which charges up the fish. With seemingly no end to this unseasonably warm weather, I'm beginning to think I could get another hundred fish before the end of the year. Unreal!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Scale Patterns


Some photographers/fishermen will take photos of scale patterns.  These form some interesting "artsy" pictures.  But, they can also be a thing of beauty that many of us don't even notice or take for granted.  Mirror carp, in particular, have some awesome scale patterns since all mirrors are different.  Their scale pattern is like a finger print.  Even some commons have interesting scale patterns because of the varying colors of their scales (some light, some dark).
I set my camera to a macro setting and isolated small sections of the carp's body to take these photos.  They are all taken from fish I have landed in the last week.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Another Funky "Carp"

If it looks like a carp, hits like a carp and fights like a carp, then it has to be a carp, right? Not so. Take a look at the photo below of one of the fish I landed today.  At first glance, it looks like a common carp.
But, if you look more closely, you will notice it has NO BARBELS under the chin, a dead giveaway that it is not a common carp.  It also has small golden scales with orange spots here and there along its body, another dead giveaway that it is not a common carp.
So, what is it?  It is what they call a wild hybrid goldfish.  They are few and far between, but they do exist in the ponds and river systems around here.  I've landed less than 10 of these in my carp fishing career. So, next time you catch what you think is a common carp, take a closer look.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


This chunking common was
number 1,100 on the year.
The good times just keep rolling in this beautiful December weather.  It is only December 8th as I write this, and already I have caught more carp in December than any other December I have ever fished.  Yup, it is that good as the record numbers just continue for me.
This is the hot ticket
as far as bait.
Today I got number 1,100 on the year, a good looking 10 lb. common. It was a raw and chilly day, something I am not used to in this mild run of weather, but the fish were still hitting.
I have had all my luck in December using sweetcorn on a hair rig.  Keeping with a delicate winter approach I am generally using just two kernels on a short hair length.  I am also using the smallest method ball I can pack around my sinker.  At times I am also catching with no method, but in recent days, the method seems to lure more fish.
I am guessing that there will be no end to my hot fishing until the weather dramatically changes and from the looks of things, that won't happen for at least two weeks.  Let the good times roll!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Frustration with Winter Carp Fishing

This is one of dozens of carp
I have caught in the last few days.
They are hitting but you have to be
in the right spots and fishing the
right methods to score.
Ah, lots of frustration out there regarding winter carp fishing (what we are doing right now).  I will say that most of the frustrated ones who can't seem to catch a fish at this time of year are making rookie mistakes.  They are fishing the same spots that they fished back a month, two months ago.  They've probably discovered the carp are no longer in those spots, and these fishermen are stumped.
Carp tend to move in big groups in the winter to what would be called "winter locations". It's almost like a migration with saltwater fish.  So, where the carp were in the summer and early fall, they are no longer there and have moved.  Finding those spots, especially in big lakes and ponds is very difficult since the fish are also not voraciously feeding at this time.
Many years ago, friend and fellow RI CAGer Kev Wasliewski,  gave me a big tip on a winter spot.  This was a small pond, a place you could really cast across. The carp had no place to go in winter.  You just knew they were there.  It was a matter of finding a bait they would hit.  Sweet corn with no method was the catcher as it is for me today. I caught many from this place in the dead of winter.  So, small places might be a place for frustrated fishermen to start.
I also like moving water, especially "small" moving waters like brooks, streams and small rivers.  Look for a deep, slow moving water in these places. If it comes up to a shallow shelf, all the better.
Finally, go small with the bait for winter carp fishing.  I did a post on this a few posts back that might help you along.
I have about a dozen winter spots where I have caught fish over the years in the months of Dec., Jan., and Feb. I try to keep these secretive because it took a long time to find them, and they are generally small places that can't host a party. For all the frustrated rookies out there, it's time to put in some time and effort and start looking for your winter gems.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Winners in RI CAG Fall Combo Tournament

Brandon Dee...1st place
Jake Ayotte....2nd place
Our RI CAG Fall Combo Tournament has come to an end after three months of fishing.  This event was open to all CAG members. Here is how this state tournament worked.  You entered your biggest common and your biggest mirror carp by length for September through November.  The total length of those two fish were your points. The fish had to be caught in RI waters.  Many of our members entered fish in this popular fall tournament, and the contest was very close for the top three spots. Engraved medals provided by the national CAG group will be given to the top three finishers.
Here are the winners with the mirror carp length (in inches)  listed first followed by common length:
1st place- Brandon Dee- 31 + 37 = 68
Tom Perron...3rd place
2nd place- Jake Ayotte- 32 1/2 + 35 = 67 1/2
3rd place- Tom Perron- 34 1/2 + 30 = 64 1/2
Congrats to these three winners as well as all the members who took part in our tournament.  The RI CAG runs our own popular tournaments in the spring and fall for our members.  The national CAG group also runs multiple tournaments and contests throughout the year.  For info on joining CAG go to the Carp Anglers Group website.

Friday, November 27, 2015

One THOUSAND for the Year

My thousandth fish of the year
really turned out to be two fish!
I hit the thousand fish mark for the year today. Catching over a thousand carp in a year seemed impossible before the season started since nothing got started this year until April due to the severe winter.  So, I got there without catching hardly any carp for the first three months of the year.  But, once the fishing got started in 2015, it was one record month after another for me.
There's a story behind my thousandth fish.  I knew my 15th fish (if I could get it) today would be my thousandth for the year. So, when I landed 14 carp at mid afternoon, I knew the next fish would be it. But, here's where it got crazy....both alarms sounded at the same time....yup, a double.  I fought both fish to the shore with one rod between my legs and the other in one hand while the other hand took turns reeling both reels.  Finally, I landed two commons.  One was about 10 lbs., while the other went 7 lbs. So, my thousandth fish turned out to be really two fish.  Hmm, kind of the way this crazy year is going.
Prior to this year, my best year was 750 fish.  I fish about the same number of days every year, so you can conclude that 2015 has been a spectacular year in terms of numbers for carp fishing. And, it has been a banner year for me with big fish too.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Now Using Winter Tactics

I am now using my winter tactics to fish for carp.  With the water temperatures dropping into the 30's and ice forming along many of the shorelines (especially in the mornings), a different approach is needed to coax sluggish winter carp into hitting.
Think small and light.  At this time of year I always use sweet corn.  Unlike other times of the year I go with a small hair on a small hook (#8).  I usually thread just two pieces of sweet corn on the hair (see photo at left).  I also rarely use a method ball at this time of year.  If you are fishing areas without current, go with a smaller sinker like a quarter ounce steel egg sinker.
I also sometimes really change things around in the winter as I did the other day.  I will often use a very light rod ( 9 foot noodle steelhead rod) along with a baitrunner reel that is spooled with just 8 lb. test monofilament line.  I will use a small sinker and a foot long monofilament leader (8 lb test line).  At the end I will tie on a #12 hook and just hook a couple of pieces of sweet corn (yup, no hair rig). That super light set-up can work exceptionally well with finicky winter fish. Of course, you might find yourself in trouble with this super light set-up if you hook a big fish.
Today I got out on a real cold morning and found ice along the shore everywhere I went.  I did, however, manage to bank half a dozen carp as the weather warmed in the afternoon using the winter techniques described above.  One of those fish one was a magnificent 20 lb. mirror, a real good size winter fish (see photo at right).

Thursday, November 19, 2015

RI CAGers Score Big in Big 4 Tournament

Todd Richer....4th place
Three RI CAG members entered the national CAG Big 4 Tournament and all came away winners, a phenomenal feat for RI carp fishermen.  This tournament was open to all CAG members.  The idea was to go out and fish from October to mid November and log in your four biggest carp.  The poundage total would be your points.
Tom Perron....10th place
Note that some of the best carp fishermen from all over the country were involved in this tournament so the competition was stiff. At stake were prizes (gift certificates) for the top ten finishers. Here's how we did;
Todd Richer came in fourth place overall with 113 lbs., 4 oz.  In that haul of fish, Todd had a PB (Personal Best) 33 lb., 8 oz common, a stunning fish.  If you remember, it was Todd who had the biggest mirror at 30 lbs. in the Spring CAG Big 4. Todd is quickly becoming one of New England's top big carp hunters.
Dave Pickering....7th place
I came in seventh place with 83 lbs., 2 oz.  All my fish were in the low twenties.  This goes along with my 5th place finish in the Spring CAG Big 4.
Tom Perron came in tenth place.  Tom is a first year CAG member and part of our up and coming group of young carp fishermen in this state. Tom's total was 66 lbs., 2 oz. and he had a very impressive mirror of 22 lbs., 3 oz. in the mix.  You might remember that Tom and his partner came in second place in the recent Merrimack River Regional Tournament.
Make no mistake about it...we have some of the best carp fishermen in New England here in our RI CAG group.  And, we are now raising some eyebrows on the national level.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


The good times just keep rolling along.  November is turning out every bit as good as October for me.  Landed my 900th carp of the year today, a good looking mirror carp of about 10 lbs.  It came as one of a fourteen fish haul in just a few hours of fishing. All were caught on sweet corn fished on the hair rig.  I am guessing that as long as this weather stays warm the fish will continue to hit.
My next challenge will be to reach 1000 fish. I have a month and a half to do it. It is reachable with a little luck. Now, that would be monumental!
Number 900 on the year!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Working on Another Record Month

It is only November 14, but already I have caught more carp this November than any other November.  At this point I have 90 carp on the bank, about half mirrors and half commons. This fall continues to be the best I have ever experienced in terms of numbers. Take a look at a couple of pictures (right and left) of fish I have landed in recent days.
Today I set out with low expectations.  Wind chills were in the low thirties when I left my house and there was a big dip in the temperature last night, not good for carp fishing. There was also a brutal, cold wind.  Things began real slow.  I tried two spots for an hour each and came away with three small ones.  So, I packed up and headed for a different location. That's where I found the fish stacked up in a small area.  I was able to land ten fish in just an hour and a half in this spot.  The fish were all sizes and went up to ten pounds.
The hot bait continues to be sweet corn fished on a hair rig.  I've tried maize also and the results are far below what I am getting on sweet corn. With the absence of any pests (turtles, horned pout, bluegills, suckers, etc.), sweet corn is my best bet right now.  At times I am using a method ball with this, at times I am not.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Record Numbers Fell for All Natural Baits

All natural stuff....sweet corn on
the hair rig and a method ball of
oatmeal, bread, cornmeal and corn.
I will catch more carp and more big carp this year than any other year. An interesting footnote to all of this is that this is the first year that I have used all natural baits.  No flavoring on my main baits.
This common that was
caught today hit sweet
corn on the hair rig.
Unflavored baits are very
effective, sometimes
outfishing flavored baits.
Many novice carpers may find it a surprise that I am not using flavored baits. I know most beginners flock to flavors thinking that is the magic bullet to catching big numbers of carp.  Not so.  Presentation, rigging and baiting are far more important to your success than flavored baits. If fact, while flavors can be a turn on to a carp, they can also be a turn off. Pick the wrong flavor on a given outing and you might as well stay home. Think about it this way.  I like to eat a good apple, but if I was given an apple that had been flavored with garlic or cucumber flavoring, I would not eat it.  I'm guessing carp feed in the same way.  We tend to chum with sweet corn or maize, a natural food.  Why, then, would you use say banana flavored corn in an area you baited with non flavored corn?  Makes no sense.
This is not to say that flavors are not effective.  We know from research that carp love fruity flavors such a pineapple, especially in cold water.  So, at times, that might just give you an edge.  I stress the word "might". Note, too, that the best flavor will differ by location.  The carp might love that scopex flavor in one pond, but might turn their noses up at it at another pond.  With non flavored or natural baits, you simply can't go wrong.
The only bait I have flavored this year has been my plastic artificial corn.  I don't like the plastic smell so I keep it in a jar with pineapple flavoring.
I also do not use flavoring in my method mix.  My method is a simple mix of old fashioned oatmeal, crushed up bread, some coarse corn meal and a particle (usually corn).
Some of the natural baits that have delivered those record numbers of carp for me this year include maize, sweet corn, chick peas, doughballs and mulberries. It's all natural stuff that carp love to eat.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Reaping the Benefits of Discovery

This fish was one of many taken from a spot reached only by
kayak.  It was featured in my discovery story.
The national CAG organization was running a contest called "Discovery Month".  For the month of September the idea was to go out and discovery a new spot and write about it.  After the contest ended members would vote for the best story.  I had never entered this contest before, but I had a good idea this year to go out in a kayak and explore an area of the Blackstone River that was completely off limits to shore fishing. Well, it worked like a charm, the story came out great and I caught a lot of good size fish in my newly discovered location.  I also ended up winning second place in the contest.  That amounted to prizes and gift certificates worth about $75.
After this contest I decided to continue with my discovery quest.  I began fishing some new spots I  had never fished before in the fall, basically places that NO ONE fished that were off the beaten paths.  That has lead to a fabulous fall for me with loads of fish on the bank.  In the month of October alone I landed 175 carp, unheard of numbers for fall fishing.  Most of those fish came from newly discovered locations.
If there is any advice I could  give to new carpers, I would say don't be afraid to explore and discover new spots.  Most newbies take the approach of going to spots that others mention or write about.  These spots will produce, but it is often the leftovers that others did not catch or fussy fish that have been caught recently. When you think about the Blackstone River, for instance, I know that most fishermen are crowded into a few easy access locations.  Realize there are parts of the river loaded with carp that have never seen a bait before.  If you can get in on these spots first or discover them, you can have some phenomenal fishing.
Give discovery a try.  You might end up blanking in some spots, but then again, you might just discover some unbelievable fishing that you will have all to yourself.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


I reached a milestone today that I never thought was achievable.  I landed my 800th carp of the year, a beautiful 14 lb. mirror carp.
November has continued just where October left off with some real hot fishing.  Today I landed 14 carp in a short session of 3 1/2 hours. The fish went 5-15 lbs. The action was terrific for this time of year.  I also saw many carp rolling and jumping on the surface as if celebrating this beautiful weather.
I can't guess where this year is going with two months left of fishing.  Nine hundred seems like a lock at this point.  Can 1000 fish in a year be possible? I don't know, but we'll see.  With a little luck and some good weather great things could happen.
Number 800 on the year proved to be a hefty mirror carp of 14 lbs.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Record Numbers for 2015; 800 Carp Next Goal

This good size mirror, number 750 on the year, was the fish
that broke my personal yearly record, numbers-wise.
This has been a blistering month of fishing for me.  At this point I have 175 carp for the month, far surpassing any October I have ever seen.  That has boosted my yearly total to 780 fish.  This makes 2015 my personal best year numbers-wise.  Last year I had landed 749 carp according to my logs, and that was my previous best year.  With two months to go (yes, I do plan to fish right until the end of December), I can't guess what the total will be. A lot will depend on the weather.
Yesterday was a real hot day of carping for me.  With bad weather on the way and the barometer dropping, the carp were in a feeding mood.  I landed 20 fish with many going over 10 lbs. In a month of hot fishing, yesterday's outing was one of my best days of the fall.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Zooming Past 700 Fish; Record Year in the Making!

The big numbers this week
have been a mix of commons
and mirrors. Here is a double
landed this morning.
I am on a feakin' fall roll like you would not believe.  Already October has been a record month for me with 110 carp on the bank, and I have a week of fishing left. Today, my numbers on the year zoomed past 700 fish for 2015.  At this point I have 715 fish.
My all time record numbers-wise is 749 fish for the year and that happened last year.  With a little luck and going on the pace I am on, I might even reach that by the end of October.  And, I have two full months to go. Years ago I would have told you 800 carp on the year would have been humanly impossible for me, but that number is reachable with a good November and December.
This good looking common is number 700 on the year.
I have been moving around and fishing a number of spots, all generally places I have not fished before or places I have fished at different times of the year in the past. They have all been producing.  I seem to be catching an equal mix of commons and mirrors. For instance, I got out this morning and banked 9 commons and 9 mirrors. Interestingly, I have gotten nothing really large (over 20 lbs.) on this good streak, but my average fish has been over ten pounds. Earlier in the month I was catching good numbers of 20's but less fish.
At this time of year I fish saltwater more than freshwater.  The numbers are stacking up with a minimum amount of effort as I am putting in about 3 hours a morning.
The top bait for me has been sweet corn on the hair along with an oatmeal based method ball packed around the sinker up ahead of the bait. I am using no flavoring, a trend that I have continued with most of the year.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

40 Carp in 4 Days

For me, carp fishing has been as hot as it gets at this time of year. I am on a fall roll, landing 40 carp in the last 4 days. And, I have not fished a whole lot, mostly fishing for about three hours in the morning. After those cold days last weekend, the fish have become super active in the warm days that followed. Most of the fish I have been catching have been decent size, running 8-17 lbs.  I have gotten no twenties, but I am not complaining.  At this time of year, a teen fish is a good catch!
One change I have made in my fishing is the return to sweet corn for bait. The cold snap has made the pests dormant and the sweet corn has been far outfishing the maize when I have used both baits.
Another change I have made is that I am exploring and fishing a lot of new spots.  Carp fishing involves a lot of exploring, and when you stumble on something hot, as I have, you generally have fantastic fishing all to yourself.  I have been fishing "off the beaten path" this week and really scoring.
The fishing has been hot with 40 fish landed in the last 4 days alone!

Monday, October 19, 2015

RI CAGers Sweep Merrimack River Tournament

Rob Clarke with a nice
RI Carpers are leaving a mark, a big mark, on the New England carp fishing scene.  Yesterday many members of our RI CAG group went up the the Merrimack River in Lowell, MA, to fish in a tournament sponsored by the Wild Carp Group of New England.  It was a marathon 18 hour event with big cash prizes and featured anglers from all over the northeast. Two guys fished together as team. The final results will show the RI guys SWEPT the winnings taking the top three awards as well as the Big Fish award. This was a catch and release tournament.
Rob Clarke and Bob White took the first
prize of nearly $500.
Bob White and Rob Clarke (dual member in RI and NH) took the first place prize of nearly $500 along with other prizes for their fish that weighed 34 lbs., 15 oz. Both these guys are very accomplished carpers and two of our best fishermen in RI. Rob is also the State Chairman of CAG in NH.
Sam Morgan and KJ Miller took the second place prize of $230 along with the big fish award of $100.  They also won several gift certificates. New RI CAG member Sam Morgan landed the biggest fish of the tournament at a bit over 17 lbs.
Jake Ayotte and Tom Perron placed third and won over $100 in cash and gift certificates.  Both are first year members of RI CAG and both are highly dedicated carp fishermen who are on a fast learning curve.
I want to also say that I have fished with all these 6 guys that won this tournament.  I am proud to say that these guys are all very dedicated, very conservation minded and treat the fish with the utmost of care. All of these guys deserve a big CONGRATULATIONS for their accomplishments. It is the start of big things to come!

Sam Morgan and KJ Miller took second place and the Big Fish Award.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Pic of the Week

Tim Haggerty, a surf fishing friend of mine, is recovering from knee
replacement surgery.  He was looking to get out to do some "non strenuous"
fishing.  Here he is with his first carp ever, a nice 14 lb. common.  Nice going, Tim!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

THREE CAG Tournaments/Contests Going on Now

This 20 lb. 8 oz. mirror carp  that I landed today is the biggest
mirror carp so far in the CAG Big 4 Fall Tournament.
For our RI CAG (Carp Angler Group) members, there are three contests/tournaments going on right now.  Here is a summary:
1. RI CAG Fall Combo Tournament- This is for RI members.  Idea is to enter your biggest common and biggest mirror by length.  That is your points. It runs until the end of Nov.  Current co- leaders are Jake Ayotte and Tom Perron with 63 1/2 points. Medals for the top three finishers.
2, CAG Discovery Month-  This is a contest run by the national group.  The idea is to find a body of water where carp have not been caught and write a story with photos about your discovery.
3.  CAG Fall Big 4 Tournament-  This runs the month of October and the idea is to enter your top 4 fish by weight. Prizes for the top ten finishers. Also, prizes for the biggest mirror and the biggest common.  Some of the best carp fishermen in the country are competing in this one. RI CAG members who are competing include Todd Richer, Tom Perron and myself.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Kayaking to Remote Locations

Our national CAG was running a Discovery Month contest this month.  The idea was to discover a spot where no one has fished before and to catch a carp there and write about it.  I used my kayak as a means to get me into a place that had no shore access and was impossible to fish unless you got there by boat.  I paddled a good distance to the location and then found a place to set up on shore and fished there. I ended up finding a good spot and catching some good numbers of mirror carp up to 14 lbs.
When you think about it, a kayak is a stealthy craft that will get you off the beaten path and into some out-of-the-way locations.  There are tons of places in lakes and along the Blackstone River in both RI and MA that would be ideal to paddle to.  In low water such as we have now, it is easy to land a kayak and fish. I'll bet in many of those spots, the carp there have never seen a bait.
Here's a good spot I discovered with my kayak. A kayak can get you into undiscovered and remote  waters

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Holy Smokes....TAKE A LOOK AT THIS!

When that alarm goes off in darkness of night, you just never know what is at the end of your line.  Such was the case last night when I landed this exotic carp- like fish. At this point no one on the CAG Forum (lots of experts there) seems to know exactly what it is.  It had a turned down mouth like a carp. It had no barbels.  It had a beautiful gold streaked fan tail.  Its fins under the belly were huge, almost the size of my hands.  They were white with gold streaks. Overall it had gold and white scales like a common carp. And, its shape was odd...almost oval. It weighed about 7 lbs.
The thought out there is that it is some type of hybrid.  Whatever it is, it was gorgeous.